Biodiversity descriptor of Marine Strategy Framework Directive in a North East Atlantic upwelling zone, at Sagres (South West Portugal)

The viability of the assessment of descriptor one (D1), Biodiversity, of Good Environmental Status according to the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) was tested. The site is in NE Atlantic OSPAR region IV, an upwelling area off SW Portugal, within the marine section of a Natural Park, near Sagres. The coastal zone has a low population and is classified as a non-polluted area with low anthropogenic pressures. Potential pressures were identified and their effects on marine environmental and ecological status were linked with the MSFD Descriptors. Data from different sources and time periods regarding all MSFD biodiversity components were compiled to create a checklist of 744 species and 327 families belonging to 19 phyla. Indices were presented for all the biodiversity components, belonging to 10 EUNIS Habitats Classification. The DEVOTools software was tested and identified 39 DEVOTool Indicators, 3 MSFD Descriptors, 11 Criteria and 15 Indicators. Sagres is therefore a low pressure-high diversity area for both species aspect and habitat composition. It could serve as a reference site for West Iberian Coast for biodiversity and other descriptors. This study can be replicated at different sites for which there is a wide range of information about the marine environment.

ISCED Categories

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0511 - Biology